tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC April 4, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
tonight on "world news" -- safe to fly -- new cracks found in other planes after the southwest airliner peeled open like a can. also tonight, a different plane has another close call. >> we've lost all our instruments right now. 497, we are declaring an emergency. four more years -- president obama officially signs on for the race in 2012 and backtracks on a promise about 9/11 terror trials. hell on earth -- [ gunfire ] our reporter caught in a harrowing battle in afghanistan, surrounded by the taliban. hooked on food -- are your food cravings as powerful as drug addiction? the news tonight about your brain and what it could mean for losing weight. and dads and daughters --
girls from some of america's tough streets take their prince, their dad, to the dance. good evening. as we come on the air tonight, an emergency order has been issued by the faa. an immediate inspection of dozens of southwest airlines' planes that have served as the workhorses for our shorter flights in america. they are 737s. this began of course with that terrifying descent of the plane on friday, the one that essentially ripped open at the seams, as passengers look up and
there are no hidden cracks in these planes. and these inspections may be just the start. the gaping hole that opened up in the roof of the southwest jet didn't just blow open one airplane -- it blew apart the nation's entire system for inspecting and maintaining aging jets. that's why the government is ordering inspections of nearly 100 planes and why it may rethink its critical safety program for older jets. >> we can't allow planes to be blowing holes in their roof while people are at 30,000 feet. we just can't. >> reporter: here's the problem -- extensive metal fatigue cracks were found just where the fuselage failed -- shocking the airline, boeing and the government. it was a spot no one had thought of, so there was no requirement to do anything more than a visual inspection on that part of the airplane. >> well, it is obviously a very disturbing trend because now we have airplanes cracking in places that we never expected. >> reporter: officials realized that age and repeated takeoffs and landings could cause metal
fatigue when an aloha jet blew apart more than 20 years ago. now there are hundreds of inspection requirements for older jetliners but it's clearly not enough. >> it means we have learned something new here, and that a whole other type of inspection or a total new inspection regime may be required. >> reporter: pilots check planes before every flight, but it's up to mechanics to look for even the tiniest of cracks. they can be detected visually at 1/4 inch, but even smaller, 1/10 of an inch, with specialized equipment. including what's called eddy-current technology -- equipment that sends an electrical current through the metal, picking up any irregularities. u.s. airlines often fly planes until they're 25 years old. but what really matters is the number of takeoffs and landings and southwest planes get a big workout. still, the southwest jet was considered just middle aged when the roof blew at 34,000 feet, sending
passengers scrambling for oxygen masks and pilots diving for a lower altitude. >> it was crazy. >> it was frightening. frightening. sounded like an explosion. >> reporter: terrifying moments on a jet that had all the required inspections but still fell apart. now, the government will be watching the outcome of these emergency inspections very carefully. how they turn out could impact the inspection regiment for every older jet in the united states. diane. >> lisa, i know you knew this, but we were surprised today up here when we got a sample of the skin of the plane. this is the outer casing, which actually came apart at the seams. i want to show everybody at home how very thin this is. looks as if one small crack in it would just open it up. >> diane, it's very, very strong but, as you said, it's extremely thin, and that's why even a tiny, tiny crack is of such concern and why they need to look for them. >> what you're saying to me is those machines, those techniques
they have, can show a crack in those parts the plane? >> absolutely. they need to run the machine over the plane. it pulses an electrical current into the metal and that -- the way that current reads back will show them there's something wrong with that metal. >> all right, lisa, thank you, tonight. and we want to tell you, as well, about a different kind of terror today for more than 100 people on a united airlines flight which lost its electronics. and made an emergency landing on backup systems. the airbus jet had just left new orleans for san francisco when the pilot smelled smoke in the cockpit. >> tower, we can start trying to pull 'em all off. i don't know if we'll be able to get them all off. >> united 497, state souls on board and fuel remaining. >> 106 souls on board. >> always so haunting to hear that "souls on board." the plane made it back to new orleans, barely able to brake or steer. the ntsb is investigating. now we move
on to the white house. president obama made it official today. he wants to stay there four more years. the president kicked off his 2012 re-election run with the video, e-mails, even texts, searching for his supporters again to recapture the magic from four years ago. jake tapper broke the news the announcement would come before dawn today. he's at the white house tonight. >> reporter: here's a video from senator obama four years ago. a campaign appearance of hope, making promises of change. >> we want something new. we want to turn the page. >> reporter: we can end a war, the campaign said then. e can end a war, lanet. the campaign said then. we can save the planet. we can change the world. here's the video president obama sent out this morning declaring his candidacy. >> i don't agree with obama on everything, but i respect him and i trust him. >> reporter: it's the difference between running as an inspiring blank slate and as an incumbent leading the nation mired in three wars, including libya, with close to 9% unemployment and a controversial record such as the health care law.
in 2007 and 2008, courtney height worked for the obama campaign all over the country. today she argues the president needs to be bolder to convince young people that elections matter. >> we didn't see the action we thought we were going to get on some of the issues that are most important to us. >> reporter: energy? >> energy, climate, jobs. >> reporter: a lot can change in four years. first daughter sasha and malia have shot up like sunflowers. with a more winter effect playing out with the president's gray hair. while he still enjoys remarkably positive polling given the current unemployment rate, since his inauguration, president obama is down 21 points on whether he's a strong leader, and on whether he understands the problems of ordinary americans. listen to the middle class angst voiced by velma hart at a 2010 town hall. >> quite frankly, i'm exhausted of defending you, defending your administration. >> reporter: hart lost her job soon after. today, she tells us she feels slightly more optimistic.
>> what i'm not certain of is that it's reached the levels of the everyday person yet but i believe it's coming. yeah, i'm encouraged. >> reporter: diane, at this point in bill clinton's re-election effort, seven republicans had declared their candidacies against him. for george w. bush, nine democrats had thrown their hats into the ring. so far, not one republican has declared their candidacy against president obama, diane. >> not yet. i want to switch though, jake, to another big headline out of the white house today -- a switch in positions on a big terrorism trial coming up. tell us about it. >> reporter: well, that's right. the obama administration had originally announced it would try khalid shaikh mohammed and four other 9/11 co-conspirators in a criminal court in manhattan but congress intervened, passed a law saying he could not try any guantanamo detainees in the united states and president obama signed it into law, it was attached to a pentagon spending bill, rather than have a big fight with congress. democrats and republicans were against him on this. so ultimately he blinked and they'll be having a military tribunal trial for them at
guantanamo bay, despite his promise to close guantanamo bay. >> and not in the united states for that trial. thank you, jake. and of course it was 9/11 that led to the war in afghanistan. tonight, we bring you a harrowing firsthand look at what it means to be fighting in the cold hard hills there. 100,000 u.s. combat troops are waging this war. and in the past months, the u.s. has pushed back the taliban. but, now, it's spring and that means the enemy is regrouping in the mountains. our mike boettcher was the only journalist with the 101st airborne. they call themselves the no slack battalion. they were ordered on the dangerous mission to take the fight to the enemy. six soldiers would lose their lives. mike brings us a report on what he calls the fiercest fighting he's seen in his 30 years in war zones. >> reporter: on the freezing afghan mountaintop with pakistan close enough to touch, the men of 1901st airborne, known as no
slack battalion, most in their 20s, some with only two weeks left on a year-long deployment, began their descent into hell. the taliban were waiting in their safe haven. a narrow mountain valley. barawala kalet. no foreign troops had ever dared come here. once the furious attack began, we knew why. the taliban were determined to convince the americans to never come back. [ gunfire ] >> the enemy situation right now is they are shooting from a bunch of different places. >> reporter: no slack didn't budge, as fire came in from above. from below. not just a few shots but a barrage of bullets. [ gunfire ] >> get over here! >> reporter: they gave back as good as they got, killing more than 100 of their enemy. but ammo was running low. >> got these. that will leave me with [ bleep ] two. >> reporter: and a tense voice on a field radio announced the cost of coming here.
>> i have three casualties. i'll give you more information as i get it. >> roger. >> reporter: fire rained down from all directions for five relentless hours. i was following headquarters company. its captain ed bankston and i hugged the muddy mountainside. a short distance to our right and 1st platoon to our left all had wounded and dead. flying straight into enemy fire, air force parajumpers known for their daring attempted the first rescue. their pilot was shot and their helicopter turned back. >> i've taken an additional casually. >> they are currently pinned down and need support, over. >> reporter: more med-evac helicopters poured into the valley. this is the seventh med-evac flight already in the last two hours. it's hard to get an exact number. we've been pinned down here. when the clouds lifted,
helicopters and bombers descended. in the chaos, there were miracles. sergeant matthew mendez saved by his chest plate. >> took it like a champ. i got shot. this is what it hit. you can see the rounds right there. my tang bottle stopped it. >> if you're not here, they'll never know. if you don't have this experience firsthand, you can't really begin to explain to a person. >> reporter: today, despite six dead and seven wounded, they are still going. inch by inch. bullet by bullet. >> keep on firing. >> reporter: mike boettcher, abc news, barawala kalet, afghanistan. >> and we wish them godspeed for a safe return. still ahead on "world news" -- the refund rip-off. could your hard-earned tax
refund be stolen before you even see it? do any of these words describe how you feel? could the answer hold the key to whether you can lose weight? and daddy's little girl. a dance with her father. [ male announcer ] this is lara. her morning begins with arthritis pain. that's a coffee and two pills. the afternoon tour begins with more pain and more pills. the evening guests arrive. back to sore knees. back to more pills. the day is done but hang on... her doctor recommended aleve. just 2 pills can keep arthritis pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is lara who chose 2 aleve and fewer pills for a day free of pain. and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels. wonder where the durango's been for the last two years?
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it's tax time. and this year, for the first time ever, the number one target for scam artists is your tax refund, as elisabeth leamy reveals now. >> reporter: tracey cochran was anxiously anticipating this year's tax refund because money was tight. >> i have been on unemployment for the past year and a half. i am doing a temp job right now. >> reporter: but instead of a $2,400 irs check, she received a notice that somebody else had filed a return in her name. a thief was trying to intercept her refund. >> i went into a panic. an absolute panic. >> reporter: she's not alone. scripps howard news service investigated 1.4 million complaints filed with the federal trade commission and found tax identity theft has more than tripled in the past five years. >> from the criminal's perspective, a little bit of money from a great number of people starts to add up. >> reporter: there are two versions of the scam. number one --
fake tax prep services. thieves offer to do other people's taxes for free, then file fraudulent returns with uncle sam and hijack the refunds for themselves. this massachusetts man just pleaded guilty to stealing $200,000 that way. in scam number two -- con artists target not just you, but your kids. they steal children's social security numbers and list them as dependents to try to score a larger refund. >> here we go again. >> reporter: greg sartin says his daughter taylor has been used as a dependent on other people's tax returns six times, starting when she was just a baby. and when he tries to claim her himself -- >> this was rejected. >> reporter: -- the irs rejects his return. now he fears for taylor's financial future. >> when she turns 18, is she going to have items on her credit reports that are going to make it difficult for her? >> reporter: lately, crooks have been making it difficult for people by posing as the irs and e-mailing them to resubmit their returns.
don't fall for it. the irs will never e-mail you about anything, period. more advice on our website. diane. >> great advice, thanks so much, good to see you tonight. are you sluggish, anxious, withdrawn? i'm phil mickelson, pro golfer. if you have painful, swollen joints, i've been in your shoes. one day i'm on p of the world... the next i'm saying... i have this thing called psoriatic arthritis. i had some intense pain. it progressively got worse. my rheumatologist told me about enbrel. i'm surprised how quickly my symptoms have been managed. [ male announcer ] because enbrel suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections,
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here's sharyn alfonsi on what's new. and what you do. >> reporter: the pictures of a cute, chubby kid only tells part of the story. michael praeger says he didn't just overeat. >> i was stealing to get food, both food and money to get food. there was never really enough for me. >> reporter: but now a new study reveals why some of us can't stop eating. it's not willpower. it's a real addiction, and it has to do with the way our brains are wired. researchers asked women a series of questions. did they feel sluggish, anxious or withdrawn about food? then they were shown a picture of a chocolate milk shake. when a healthy woman saw it a part of the brain that deals with anticipation, called the caudate, does not respond. the picture doesn't trigger any cravings. though when a food addict saw the milk shake picture, that same part of the brain lights up. they have to have it, craving it like a drug. then the women were given an actual taste of the milkshake. with normal women, the part of the brain that shows you're satiated lights up, they feel fulfilled.
but the brain of women with food addictions barely respond, they don't feel satisfied. so doctors say they're more likely to overeat, chasing that feeling. researchers say they way a food addicts brain responds to food is strikingly similar to the way a drug addicts brain responds to drugs. >> there's probably important implications for prevention and treatment. that we can learn from the substance abuse literature and apply it to overeating. >> reporter: to that end, michael praeger went to rehab to treat his food addiction. today, he is 165 pounds lighter. >> i am recovering a day at a time, but i have no doubt, oh, god, i have no doubt that if i let these boundaries down, i would be back with my head in a trough of food in very short order. >> reporter: sharon alfonsi, abc news, new york. and coming up, see what can happen after one dance with daddy. t can happen after one dance with daddy. with these nasal allergies. i know what works differently than many other allergy medications.
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finally tonight, an inspired idea for some little girls and the dads who say they want to be different, present, in their daughter's lives. a dab of mascara, pink eye shadow to match a very pink dress, and a dash of nerves only a mother's steady hand can calm. 12-year-old jordan gets ready with her mom, misha. anxious about the big night ahead, a dance date with dad. it's a fairytale. and every daughter thinks she came with the prince. >> i was so excited, i couldn't sleep last night. >> when i was first getting up this morning, i just wanted to put on my dress, because i was so excited. ♪ isn't she lovely
>> reporter: the idea for a harlem daddy and daughters ball came from the director of a local dance school. the families say they've never had anything like this before. that director remembers what it is for little girls growing up in the tough neighborhood. >> not all the kids come from, you know, the greatest neighborhoods, the greatest homes. it takes them away for a moment. just beauty and elegance. >> reporter: it's also a moment out of time for the dads, too. so many of them said they grew up without their own fathers. and tonight they want to break that cycle. >> i plan to be right here in the mix, letting her know dad is present, dad is there for her. >> i think not having my father in my life actually makes the bond between me and my daughter much stronger. ♪ butterfly kisses and a bedtime prayer ♪ >> reporter: it was just one night on one weekend in the spring of 2011.
but 20 years from now, ask any one of these little girls if that was a night she'll remember. ♪ to deserve a hug every morning and butterfly kisses at night ♪ >> let us know if you remember a dance with your dad. and don't forget, we are always on, bringing you the news at abcnews.com, 24 hours a day. "nightline" will be here later. and we'll see you back here tomorrow. good. emergency landing of a plane. the latest on a weekend of fear aboard three flights. >> new guidelines from the government on pipeline safety and what pg&e is ready to reveal to homeowners throughout the bay area. a tape surfaced in the barry bonds trial.
and how important it can be in this case. >> and if you're color blind there is now an app for that. >> this video was sent to you reports today by a bay area man force owed to evacuate this morning. the people here had to jump off the plane after it developed an engine problem, then raf off a runway in new orleans. it's one of several incidents in four day autos it's been a harrowing weekend for air traveler that's started friday. the fuj lauj of a southwest plane ripped open on a fly. last night a flight from oakland to san diego was diverted when passengers reported a burning smell and today, a united flight had to turn back with electrical problems. we're going to start with that